Panic In Mea Shearim After Child Contracts Polio, May Be Left Paralyzed

Young polio survivors at a special summer camp in Ramat Gan in 1954.; Arab-Israeli children are vaccinated for polio at a clinic in Jerusalem in 1988. (Photo: Ayalon Maggi/GPO)

A four-year-old from Jerusalem has contracted polio, the first case in Israel in 33 years, the Health Ministry reported Sunday.

The child’s case was caused by a mutant polio strain that can infect those who are unvaccinated. Doctors fear that the child will suffer permanent damage, including paralysis in half of her body, Channel 12 News reported.

The parents brought the child for medical testing due to weakness in the left side of her body.

The Jerusalem Municipality reported that the child is a 4-year-old girl from Mea Shearim. As Health Ministry officials believe that the case is not an isolated one and may be just the tip of the iceberg of dozens and perhaps even hundreds of asymptomatic cases, an emergency meeting with the participation of the dayanim of the Eidah Chareidis is taking place on Monday afternoon.

The Emergency and Public Health Department already contacted the Rabbanim of the Eidah HaChareidis, who have instructed all residents to vaccinate their children immediately. Cars with loudspeakers are circling in the neighborhood informing residents of the need to vaccinate. The Jerusalem District Health Office is carrying out an epidemiological investigation and is notifying anyone suspected of coming into close contact with the child. Additionally, municipality workers contacted all parents of children in the polio victim’s gan and arranged for the children to be tested immediately in order to thwart the spread of the virus.

Emergency centers have been established in Mea Shearim and residents are frightened, especially since the Health Ministry believes that there are hundreds or even thousands of additional children who may have been exposed to a mutant polio strain.

The Health Ministry said that polio was found in sewage samples in the area. However, the Ministry noted that this is a phenomenon that occasionally occurs and similar incidents in the past did not lead to any clinical cases.

There are thousands of unvaccinated children in Mea Shearim and other neighborhoods due to their parents’ anti-vaccination views.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion has established a special operations room in cooperation with the Health Ministry in order to quickly vaccinate as many unvaccinated children as possible. Additionally, Jerusalem municipality workers are contacting all parents in the city whose children are unvaccinated in an effort to convince them to immediately begin vaccinations.

“The population vaccinated against polio is protected,” Health Ministry officials said. “But this could be significant for the unvaccinated population, and the recommendation is to get vaccinated. It’s perturbing, mostly because this is a completely preventable disease.”

A total of 4,700 Israelis contracted polio between 1950 and 1954, and 760 died of the virus. There is no cure for polio but it is completely preventable with vaccinations.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Wear a mask to avoid droplets from someone nearby sneezing or coughing.

    And very important: do NOT touch someone else’s Poo. If you do touch Poo, then wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds – roughly as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.

  2. Polio?????
    What will the parent’s Rav now say to justify the children from not getting the necessary vaccinations? I do not blame the uneducated and ignorant parents and their Rav should know better.

  3. Interestingly, there is currently a polio outbreak in Ukraine, and vaccination efforts had to be suspended because of the war.

  4. Are anti-vax parents who oppose medical technology advances still treating headaches and high blood pressure with leeches and bloodletting? With such a mentality, how long will it be before smallpox and TB have a resurgence? Do these same parents oppose blood transfusions? There is a religion out there that does, but it’s not Yiddishkeit.

  5. The forcing of people to get the experimental covid-19 bio-weapon shots that have been proven to have transformed the mRNA in the shots to transcripted DNA in liver tissue, have been proven to cause myocarditis, pericarditis, blood clots, fatalities, etc. , etc and have not been proven to prevent the infection and transmission of covid-19, and calling these fake shots “vaccinations” when that’s the last thing they are, has certainly made those people who are against real vaccinations to be more anti-vaccinations. The governments pushing the poison shots have shot themselves in the foot and caused the real anti-vaxxers to doubt these government agencies even more than they already did.

  6. Hashem, in His infinite wisdom, which we can’t begin to fathom, has sent nisyonos, such as disease and other medical challenges, to this world. Hashem, in His infinite kindness has sent us ways to fight many of these diseases and conditions. Some people, in their infinite arrogance combined with limited knowledge, reject these wonderful gifts, such as vaccines, including COVID vaccines.

  7. My grandfather a”h contracted polio as a child, over a century ago. It is a horrifying, life-destroying disease.

    If you are not vaccinated – PLEASE – get vaccinated!

  8. Please check details before posting and creating hysteria
    I Just spoke to the mother of the child. The child is not paralyzed. She has a weak muscle in her leg which will bzh heal slowly
    I also spoke to the aidah chareidis who confirmed that they made no such statement.

  9. Found out today that the child does NOT have polio and is happily back in school! Do please check the facts before quoting anti religious news articles. They dont mind defaming frum Jews with all sorts of garbage! The Jews of Meah Shearim are the holiest and purest around. So watch out before accusing them baselessly!